Hoch's birdie barrage wins it

Associated Press
Scott Hoch follows his drive off the sixth tee Sunday at the Allianz Championship. Hoch earned his second Champions Tour win with five birdies on the back nine.

BOCA RATON, Fla. --- Scott Hoch was trailing by three shots with eight holes to play, so he simply went back to the basics.


The decision paid off. Hoch birdied five of the final eight holes for a one-shot victory, his second career Champions Tour win, in the Allianz Championship on Sunday.

After a bogey on the 10th hole, Hoch knocked in birdies on Nos., 11, 12, 15, 17 and 18 to finish at 4-under-par 68, one shot better than Brad Bryant and Bruce Lietzke.

"It wasn't looking good today," Hoch said. "I just went back to basics instead of hitting shots according to conditions."

He finished at 14-under-par 202.

Bryant was the leader in the clubhouse after shooting 6-under-par 66, the best round of the day in windy conditions at The Old Course at Broken Sound. He started four shots behind second-round leader Jerry Pate, who was bidding to win his second consecutive Champions Tour title.

Bryant was impressed by Hoch's finish.

"That birdie (on 17) was just phenomenal," Bryant said. "It's probably the toughest hole out there today."

On No. 18, Hoch hit his drive down the middle and landed his second shot about 16 feet away for an easy two-putt birdie.

"Anytime you win a tournament, you have to have a little luck," said Hoch, who took time to dedicate the victory to his ailing caddie, Greg Rita, who isn't able to carry his bag.

"Hopefully, he gets to come back and caddy for me again."

Lietzke also held the lead briefly, but he needed birdies at Nos. 16 and 18 to finish 4-under-par 68 to tie with Bryant at 203.

INDIAN MASTERS: In New Delhi, former caddie Shiv Chowrasia of India clinched the event sanctioned by both the European Tour and the Asian Tour with 5-under-par 67 at the Delhi Golf Club.

The 29-year-old had a bogey-free final round to win his maiden European Tour title. He finished at 9-under-par 279, two strokes ahead of Ireland's Damien McGrane.

Chowrasia surged into the lead with three birdies over the first four holes.

World No. 4 and two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els shot a 71 and finished in a five-way tie for sixth place.

AUSTRALIAN LADIES MASTERS: In Gold Coast, Australia, England's Lisa Hall won when Shin Hyun-ju missed a 3-foot par putt on the final hole.

Hall shot 6-under-par 66 in her final round for a 13-under-par total of 203 at Royal Pines.

Shin, who will start her fourth season on the Japanese tour this year, finished with 68 and was alone in second.

Karrie Webb, who started the day in a three-way tie for the lead, shot 70 to finish in fifth place, three strokes behind.



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